Monday, April 18, 2011

Q&A for Natural Parenting Blog Party

The Peaceful Housewife

I decided to join the Natural Parenting Blog Party over at The Peaceful Housewife. To join, head over to her site. It'll be going through the 30th of April. So as a kick off, for anyone who's fairly new around here, or hopped over through the blog party, here's a Q&A (put together by The Peaceful Housewife) to help you get to know me a little.
  1. How many children do you have, and how old are they?

Viviana Marie- she’ll be 1 year May 18. We’re expecting our 2nd at the end of October.

  1. Do you have a partner, or are you a single parent?

Not only do a have an amazing husband (2 years this June!), Ben, but he’s almost as into natural parenting as I am. He wears Vivi a lot, totally promotes cosleeping, and all that jazz.

  1. What are your “hot button” parenting issues?

By nature, I’m a very passionate person. I work hard at respecting others and their rights to parent the way they see fit, but being said personality, I have a few things that are “big” for me….and lots of things I’ll avoid mentioning for now, that I can also be rather passionate about.

Firstly, treating babies and children like real people and meeting their emotional needs. All my other passions flow out of this primary one, which is a “life goal” of my husband and mine. Basically, we just believe that like adults, children/babies have real emotional needs that need to be met. This means that when a baby cries, it’s for a reason. It means that when they’re crying during a cry-it-out program, they’re expressing that they need you….if for nothing more than comfort. It means that 5 year olds have really important stuff to say. It means that kids have important opinions that should be weighed and not laughed at.

Babywearing is definitely a huge thing for me. I love promoting it to people. And I really don’t like seeing all the car seats in shopping carts, and everywhere, anywhere I go. I think babywearing is one of the most beautiful things a parent can do…and it makes me sad to see so many babies by themselves- untouched, often not even being talked to- who just need some loving. I don’t babywear for this reason, but I also think it makes moms’ lives easier, so when I hear people complain about how they can’t get everything done, I’m likely to suggest babywearing as the perfect solution. You can do anything, all while cuddling your baby!

Cosleeping could be added to this, too- especially as opposed to cry it out. I’m very opposed to cry it out; it makes my heart break to hear babies screaming to know that someone’s there and cares about them, without any response. And while we’re talking about sleeping, getting children/babies the healthy sleep they need makes the list.

Breastfeeding to meet emotional and physical needs, for as long as those needs exist (year wise) and however often those needs exist (every hour, every 3 hours) is another one. It makes me sad to see babies whose mothers won’t nurse either because they’re keeping a strict schedule and so it doesn’t matter if the baby’s hungry/emotionally needy, or because they “just nursed him” and so assume he doesn’t really “need” it.

  1. Have you made any parenting choices that you didn’t think you would make before you were a parent, i.e. cloth diapering a child when you had previously thought it was disgusting?

Hmmm…I don’t think I’ve made any drastic changes. Since I was a young teen, I knew I wanted to parent naturally, as I sorted through different parenting styles. Before I was married, I never thought I’d say using natural family planning (as opposed to letting God plan family size) was an acceptable thing. We don’t use it/have plans to, but I know longer hold that it’s wrong, especially for everyone.

  1. Is there one book or person in particular that’s heavily influenced your parenting choices?

Definitely, my mom! She wore her babies, coslept, breastfed on demand and all the natural jazz when she was totally alone and had zero support. And since our two daughters are the same age, and we’re pregnant together again, she still does it all!

  1. If you had to describe each of your children using only one word, what word would you use?

Viviana- vibrant, or lively! She lives up to her name meaning…. :-)

  1. Is there one parenting decision that you regret more than others and wish you could change?

Not yet…but we don’t have years of experience under our belt yet. Ben and I love to talk and communicate as best friends, which has led to lots of in depth conversations about our parenting. We like to know exactly why we do what we do, and ultimately, I think this will lead to fewer regrets, as we avoid doing things “just because”…so many parents don’t even know why they do what they do, and the results can be damaging to kids.

  1. Is there an area of your parenting you wish you were better at?

Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m far from a perfect parent….but perhaps I don’t have enough munchkins to point out my biggest flaws and “holes” yet. :-)

  1. Now for the fun questions- is there one particular food or type of food that you could eat every day?

Chocolate. A necessary component of everyday. Enough said.

  1. Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?

Let’s be real, folks- chocolate. Or something with chocolate in it.

  1. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Right now, I have a few too many, being pregnant. :-) Like store bought food, which I don’t usually crave. Especially pizza and MiCasa’s (Mexican Restaurant). And ice cream....lots of ice cream.

  1. This question, about tv shows, doesn’t apply to me at all. So I thought maybe I’d sum up, in a few words, without comment, what aspects of “natural parenting” (or parenting in general) I stand for.

Babywearing. Breastfeeding on demand, and anywhere. Cosleeping. Relational parenting. Meeting children/babies’ sleep needs. Cloth diapering. Natural (and incredible!) birth. Healthy, whole food eating- with lots of protein and fats. Natural means of healing. And probably more…but that’s a start!


  1. Just hopped over through the blog party. :) I love your blog name and enjoyed your answers so much. :). Looking forward to more posts!

  2. It's interesting that babywearing isn't more common, since whenever I wear my son around, almost everyone who sees us smiles. Hopefully it will gain popularity with time!

  3. Thanks for stopping by, both of you!

    dulce de leche- the blog name was my husband's idea (he used to write on here a lot more...and still does occasionally). He developed the picture of a 3-tiered fountain to fit with our vision for our lives....the top tier being our marriage, and a picture of investing in our relationship, and having a relationship so strong that the love pours over and flows into our children's lives. And that as we love our children together, and invest in our family first, that love will spill over as a family into the lives of those around us. :-)

    CatholicMommy, interesting point! We, too, get lots of (positive) comments when Vivi and I go out. Last (1 hour) shopping trip, I got about 9 comments on how comfy/content/peaceful Vivi looked on my back. :-) So maybe it will gain popularity.

  4. Stopping by from the NP Blog Party! So nice to have met you now! Love your blog and will be following now. Check out my blog. I have a recent post which is basically a pictorial of babywearing around the world. Breath taking!

  5. Hello from the blog party! So cool that your mom was a natural parent too. My parents were wonderful but they parented in a very mainstream way. Of course now they are "natural" grandparents and love all the things we are doing as parents.

    Nice to meet you and I look forward to following your blog!

  6. Hybrid Rasta Mama- I'm pretty certain I commented over there, but I loved your pictorial post of babyewaring! That must've taken a long time to put together, but it's beautiful! Thanks for stopping by!

    Paige, thanks for coming by! In reading some of the blog party posts, I've been SO surprised how many people mentioned their mom as the primary person who influenced them in natural parenting. So cool! It's really, really neat that your parents fully embrace it now, and support/approve how you raise your child(ren). A lot of parents have a hard time swallowing it when their kids parent differently than they do- I think it often feels threatening.